Sharp Increase in South Carolina Road Fatalities in 2015

Sharp Increase in South Carolina Road Fatalities in 2015

 

Sharp Increase in South Carolina Road Fatalities in 2015

Charlotte, NC Personal Injury Lawyer

The Greenville Online reported in August that road fatality rates in South Carolina sharply increased this year as compared with the same time period in 2014. At the time it was reported, 572 people had died on South Carolina roads, as compared with 473 for the same period last year. Eighty-eight fatalities were motorcyclists, which has increased fifty-four percent from fifty-seven percent last year, additionally eight out of every ten failed to wear helmets. With regard to pedestrians, there have been sixty-one deaths, as compared with forty-nine from the same time last year. In accidents where a cause or contributing factor has been ascertained, the leading reasons are speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol, and failure to yield the right of way.

Improving Economy Cited as Reason for Spike

One industry expert indicated in the article that the improvement in the economy may be causing the increase in vehicle accidents that cause roadway fatalities. When the economy is thriving, more people are on the roads, and during vacation season, more people are traveling to the coast. Additionally, people have more disposable income, which may be enabling people to buy more motorcycles. An increase in motorcycle use correlates to an increase in motorcycle fatalities.

Speeding Accidents

Speeding can be the cause of catastrophic vehicle accidents. When drivers speed, they vastly reduce the amount of control they can exercise over their vehicles as well as the amount of time they have to react to any hazards or changes in road conditions. Drivers often speed because they are negligent – either they are in a hurry to get somewhere, are not paying attention to the roads, or believe that they will not get caught. As the speed of a vehicle increases, the severity of the injuries that may be caused by a speeding accident also increases.

Failure to Yield Right of Way Accidents

Failure to yield the right of way has been cited as a leading cause of traffic fatalities in South Carolina. This is often the result of overly-aggressive driving. Sometimes the drivers involved in these types of accidents do not even see the other vehicles involved, particularly motorcycles. Crashes for failure to yield often occur while approaching an intersection, turning left, entering a highway, or at stop signs. Pedestrians are the most vulnerable to these violations, as drivers often fail to yield the right of way to pedestrians at crosswalks. If the accident was caused by a driver’s failure to yield, then that failure may constitute negligence for which the driver is liable.

The increase in the number of fatalities in South Carolina roadways is alarming. Failure to exercise due care as a driver can cause severe injuries and death, and may forever change the lives of those affected. With these accidents also come potential liabilities, and injured parties deserve compensation for the negligence of vehicle drivers. If you have been injured in a vehicle accident and wish to bring a claim for compensation, the attorneys at Bice Law, LLC may be able to help you seek compensation. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.

 

Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law:

The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability.  We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly.  Call (855) 500-BICE today or submit an online request  to get a free consultation with a  personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.

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Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Chapel Hill Bars

Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Chapel Hill Bars

Rock Hill, SC Personal Injury Lawyer

Two Chapel Hill bars, He’s Not Here and La Residence, are being sued for their negligence, which plaintiffs claim caused the wrongful deaths of three people. According to a news site, the two bars allowed an underage college student to drink at their establishments, after which the student drove drunk and caused the fatal accident. The suit claims that the two establishments have a pattern of serving alcohol to students who were not twenty-one years of age.

Evidence of Pattern of Sale of Alcohol to Minors

The North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement Branch has indicated that the two establishments have been involved in state investigations in the past for selling alcohol to minors. He’s Not Here was apparently charged with four counts of failing to determine age at the point of sale and faced a fine. Additionally, La Residence sold alcohol to minors and faced several fines. In the current case, the suit alleges that both establishments continued to serve the student in question even though he was visibly intoxicated. He apparently had a blood alcohol level of twice the legal limit.

 

Sale of Alcohol to Intoxicated Persons in North Carolina

According to a North Carolina statute, establishments and their employees are prohibited from knowingly selling or giving alcoholic beverages to any person who is intoxicated. If the vendor knew that the customer was intoxicated at the time of the sale of alcohol, or should have known if he or she was exercising reasonable care, he or she will be held liable for the harm done to other parties by the drunk customer, such as if they are involved in a car accident because of intoxication.

Courts will normally accept all relevant evidence that supports the conclusion that the individual was intoxicated. Testimony regarding the individual’s behavior, such as slurred speech, belligerent behavior, and frequent stumbling or tripping, are routinely offered as reasonably accepted signs of intoxication. This testimony can come from independent witnesses such as employees of the establishment or other customers.

 

Sale of Alcohol to Minors

North Carolina law prohibits vendors and individuals from selling, giving, or otherwise providing alcohol to persons under the age of twenty-one in the state. The statute containing this prohibition also provides a cause of action in court for those people injured because of the sale of alcohol to minors. This not only includes those directly injured, but also those parents of minors who are injured or die because of the prohibited sale of alcohol.

In order to prove that the establishment is liable under this statute, plaintiffs have to prove that the establishment selling the alcoholic beverage to the minor was negligent, and failing to request identification that shows the minor’s age is evidence of negligence. Evidence of good practices may also be shown by the establishment to prove that it was exercising due care. Good practices include training employees, informing patrons of the laws concerning the sale of alcoholic beverages, and inquiring about the age or degree of intoxication of the individual. Additionally, if the individual misrepresented his or her age, then this may show that the establishment was not negligent.

Establishments that sell alcohol have to exercise due care and may be held liable for injuries caused by negligent sales to already-intoxicated persons and minors. If you or a loved one was injured because an alcohol-serving establishment was careless in its sale of alcohol, the attorneys at Bice Law, LLC may be able to help you seek compensation. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.

Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law:

The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability.  We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly.  Call (855) 500-BICE today or submit an online request  to get a free consultation with a  personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.

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Charleston Group Home Hit With Wrongful Death Suit

Charleston Group Home Hit With Wrongful Death Suit

Charlotte, NC Personal Injury Lawyer

The father of a deceased resident of South Carolina MENTOR, a group home in Charleston that cares for intellectually and developmentally disabled adults, filed a wrongful death suit against the facility. The deceased man, who was autistic and was in the care of the group home, wandered from the facility and was fatally struck by a vehicle in a hit-and-run accident. According to an article from The Post and Courier, the man had wandered from the facility at least four times since moving into the facility, and the father alleges that the home’s staff failed to heighten its supervision accordingly.

South Carolina’s Wrongful Death Statute

South Carolina law defines wrongful death as being caused by the “wrongful act, neglect, or default” of another. It is essentially a claim for personal injury that the deceased would have filed against the negligent party if he or she were alive and is, instead, brought by the executor or administrator of the deceased person’s estate. If there is no estate, then the court may name an administrator.

The executor, in actuality, brings suit on behalf of the deceased individual’s surviving family members. In South Carolina, these may include the surviving spouse and children or, if there are none, the surviving parents. If there are no parents, spouse, or children, then any recovered damages will go to his or her heirs at law.

Additionally, there is a legal time limit that wrongful death suits may be brought, which is set by a statute of limitations. In order for the court to accept the suit, it has to be filed within three years of the date of the deceased individual’s death.

Monetary damages are usually the form of recovery for wrongful death claims. These damages include compensation for different things such as funeral expenses and medical bills related to the deceased individual’s final illness or injury. Additionally, the court may also award lost wages and benefits from the individual that would have gone to family members. The court may then award damages resulting from the loss of the deceased individual’s care and companionship, and other pain and mental anguish suffered by the surviving family members.

Proving Wrongful Death in an Adult Care Home Neglect Case

In order to recover damages in a wrongful death case for an adult who was neglected in a nursing home, the plaintiff has to present evidence that the facility did something or failed to do something that was not up to par with the standard of care that it should have provided. Additionally, the plaintiff has to be able to show that the facility’s failure caused the individual’s death.

To that end, there are many forms of evidence that may be helpful towards proving the facility’s negligence. This may come in the form of photographs of injuries, medical records, including records of care provided by the facility, recordings, testimony from employees, and other things.

Proving that nursing home neglect occurred, either involving elderly individuals or individuals with disabilities, can be a complex endeavor. When brought in the context of a wrongful death suit, the process can be even more daunting. If you wish to bring a wrongful death claim, the attorneys at Bice Law, LLC may be able to help you seek compensation. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.

Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law:

The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability.  We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly.  Call (855) 500-BICE today or submit an online request  to get a free consultation with a  personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.

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Establishing Standing in Personal Injury

Standing Requirements to Initiate Lawsuit in North Carolina

Fort Mill, SC Personal Injury Attorney

Standing is a requirement imposed by the United States Constitution Article Three Section Two, which insures all litigants have proper standing to bring forth a lawsuit in state or federal courts. Standing is the capability of a “real party in interest” to initiate a lawsuit. A party may be considered a “real party in interest” if the lawsuit will either benefit or hurt the litigant and by substantive law the litigant has the legal right to enforce the claim brought.

To successfully assert standing three components must be proven:

  • Injury in fact,
  • Causation; and
  • Redressability

For standing, it is not necessary that the party demonstrate an injury has already occurred, a showing of immediate or threatened harm may also suffice. The purpose of illustrating standing to a court is meant to assist the judicial system in disposing of cases in which the litigant’s injury was not directly connected to conduct of another or in which the court could not grant the litigant a resolution that would benefit them.

Injury in Fact:

To satisfy the requirement of an injury in fact, the litigant must have faced an invasion of a legally protected interest that is neither conjectural nor hypothetical. For example, in Coker v. Daimler Chrysler Corporation, plaintiffs alleged they had suffered from an injury in fact after purchasing a minivan that did not have a brake shift interlock device (BSI). The North Carolina Court of Appeals held that plaintiffs did not possess injury in fact because of their mere speculation that damages would occur at some time in the future. Therefore, because the plaintiff’s damages were hypothetical and no concrete and particularized injury had yet occurred the litigants did not have proper injury in fact, and thus no standing to bring forth the claim.

Causation:

A litigant will fulfill the causation requirement of standing when the injury is traceable to the action of the defendant. The injury the plaintiff is suffering from must be causally connected to the complained of action engaged in by the defendant. Causation cannot therefore be caused by some third party or action independent of the defendant. For example, in medical malpractice cases the “connection between the negligence and death must be probable not merely a remote possibility.” In Day v. Brant, defendants argued that the testimony of Dr. Wyatt did not establish causation. However, after noting that Dr. Wyatt’s testimony suggested that had the defendants complied with the standard of care the victim would have had a better chance of survival the North Carolina Court of Appeals held this testimony was sufficient to establish causation. Further, the court stated that even though Dr. Wyatt could not state with absolute certainty that the victim would have survived, absolute certainty is not required and causation was properly established.

Redressability:

Redressability is the last requirement to show that a litigant possesses standing and shows that the litigant’s injury is likely to be remedied by a favorable decision from the court. The policy rationale behind this requirement is that a litigant should be able to benefit from the court’s decision and judicial resources are effectively utilized by those injured.

Standing in Personal Injury:

Standing in personal injury claims is usually obvious in that there is an easily established injury in fact, the injury is directly linked to the negligent conduct of another and the courts are able to remedy the wrongdoing to the litigant, usually by monetary damages.

 

Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law:

The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability.  We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly.  Call (855) 500-BICE today or submit an online request  to get a free consultation with a  personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.

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